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Lucas Opening Statement at Full Committee Hearing on the FY21 Federal R&D Budget

Feb 27, 2020
Opening Statement

Thank you, Chairwoman Johnson, for holding today’s hearing.  Good Morning and welcome Dr. Droegemeier.  It’s always nice to have both a friend and a fellow Oklahoman before the Committee.

Under Dr. Droegemeier’ s leadership, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has undertaken major efforts to advance our nation’s leadership in the industries of the future.  At the same time, OSTP is taking action to ensure the research environment in the U.S. is safe, secure and welcoming to the brightest minds and ideas.     

I am looking forward to hearing updates on the great progress OSTP is making on our Committee’s research priorities, including standing up the National Quantum Initiative, advancing a national Artificial Intelligence agenda, developing clean energy solutions, and promoting the bioeconomy.

I also appreciate the opportunity to hear about progress being made on other issues important to this Committee – from protecting American research from foreign influence to addressing sexual harassment in science. 

I commend the Administration for establishing the Joint Committee on the Research Environment (JCORE) to tackle these and other issues affecting the American scientific enterprise. This new interagency committee demonstrates a commitment to ensuring the American scientific enterprise remains a model for the world. 

The President’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget request includes bold proposals for ensuring American leadership in priority areas, including artificial intelligence, quantum information science, and space exploration.  The request proposes to double funding for AI and Quantum over the next two years and sets us on course to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

These investments are in line with legislation that I introduced last month to double basic research over the next 10 years and invest in R&D for the industries of the future that will to keep America competitive.

This Committee has a long, bipartisan record of support for funding fundamental research and development.  Our challenge in Congress is to set funding priorities that ensure America remains a leader in science and technology, while also balancing the government’s budget. 

I will remind my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that the President’s proposal is just the start of the budget process.  Ultimately, Congress decides how the government will be funded. 

Unfortunately, for the second year in a row it appears the Majority in the House will fail to produce a budget.

It is imperative that we work together in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to advance a budget that funds our nation’s priorities while acknowledging our very real fiscal challenges.

I know that Dr. Droegemeier believes, as I do, that American superiority in science and technology is fundamental to our economic competitiveness, our national security, and our way of life.

I appreciate your commitment to advancing science in America and I’m looking forward to your testimony today.

I yield back. 

116th Congress